View Full Version : Old Sideby Church and Sideby Parish history

Sandy Witt
10-01-05, 15:41
Dear helpful people,

I am attempting to research the old Sideby church. I have a document [Norrback, Emil. (1936). Sideby kyrka 150 år. Historik till minnesfesten den 11 okt. 1936. Kristinestad, Finland: Tryckeri & Tidnings Ab] that describes the founding and early history of the church. I will attach a copy of the page in the Norrback document that lists the names of the 17 founders and their wives.

I will also post the translation question to Finngen, but hope that Finlander members may have additional information about the early history of the Sideby parish and the old Sideby church. I would appreciate any information that can be provided, including information about the church in the 1800s, early members, early Sideby or church history, and photos.

I am attempting to translate a booklet that was written by Emil Norrback in 1937 for the 150th anniversary of the old church in Sideby. Four of my ancestors (fifth great grandfathers) were involved in the founding of the church in 1786 - Johan Johansson Lassfolk (born 1748), Mats Matsson Jossfolk (born 1761), Mats Matsson Appelö (born 1738), and Mats Thomasson Högbacka (born 1727).

I am not sure how to translate the following phrase and terms (listed below): "Fädrens minne ägnas dessa blad" [Perhaps: "This page is dedicated to the memory of our fathers/ancestors"].

Also, there is a section titled "Präster, klockare och kyrkobetjäning" (I think this means "Pastors, parish clerks and church employees") that lists the names of persons who were employed by the church in various capacities between 1787 and 1933.

My second question: I am unable to find an exact translation of the following terms:

1) Kapellaner
2) Extra Ordinarie
3) Ordinarie Klockare

I appreciate your assistance with and corrections of these translations.

In summer-like Gainesville, Florida (record-breaking heat of 82 degrees today)

Researching names: Appelö, Bäckman, Högback, Jossfolk, Lassfolk, Norrgrann – Gottböle (Närpes),Pundars, Teir(folk), Törndal, Siiro/Sijro, Stupila/Stubbas, Svartti, Wahlström

Geographical areas: Sideby, Korsholm, Skaftung,Storå/Isojoki, Närpes- Gottböle, Korsnäs, and Lappfjärd

10-01-05, 16:07
Sandy tried to attach the following document which I now have attached as a PDF document.

Kaj Granlund
10-01-05, 17:41
Seems to be my area both in profession and also somewhat geographically.
The first one “… dedicated” is OK.
"Präster, klockare och kyrkobetjäning" Präster is in our way of expressing this more than just pastors. Into the category of präster you will have different categories as to their vacation and their responsibility. Into to the category of präster we count from the top of the hierarchy: bishops, prostar (now an honorar title, but earlier a pastor with a great influence, kyrkoherde (kyrkoherdar) vicar, the leading pastor of the congregation, kapellaner (chaplains) the second pastors in the congregations, or the leading pastor of a chapel church (like Sideby was for a long time under Lappfjärd, formally the vicar in Lappfjärd was the leader of Sideby at that time), and then we also had the adjunkt (usually a young pastor that was sent to help an old vicar, as he needed help in sickness or overloaded with work. There was earlier no retirement at all).

Then the word Klockare: Coming from the word of “klocka” (=bell, churchbell) originally that was the person that rang the churchbells. A very important task as the bells were used not just for calling to service but also for collecting people in war, fire and other occasions when the help of the whole parish was needed. Gradually this profession changed and he became the leader of the singing in the service, and the one that took responibility of the teaching to read and write in the parish. He also had to check that the youth did understand to read an write. As the parishes grew in wealth they could buy an instrument, and the klockare was the one that got the task to play the organ, and the leader of the choires. Now “klockare” is an old way of saying and we use “kantor” (from latin: singer)

Kyrkobetjäning: they were the ones taking care of practical things, like tenth to the church, wages for the pastors and klockare. Also they had to serve in the church at services, funerals a.s.o. Maybe you could use Churchwardens??? So kyrkobetjäning doesn’t include the diacones.

Then to:
1) Kapellaner – think you can find this above
2) Extra Ordinarie (a titel again that will be hard to translate. Suppose this is a pastor... ordinarie means that there was a vacation for that in the parish, “extra” well – difficult to explain. But simply: indicates on the other hand that the diocese could if they had available pastors send one or just leave that vacation without a pastor. If a pastor got that vacation he could stay there as long he wanted. Why not use something like ordinary helppastor???
3) Ordinarie Klockare ( a klockare that had his vacation as long he stayed in the parish, not just for a settled time ).

Do you need some newer booklet about the church? Wonder if there isn't any available.

Sandy Witt
10-01-05, 18:51
Thank you, Kaj, for this very informative and interesting response.

It provides a greater understanding of Sideby (and Finnish) church life (and the structure of the church).

Could the term "assistant pastor" be used for Extra Ordinarie. I know that it is too general, but I am not aware of a term in English that describes this position.

You mentioned church wardens. There are also two lists after this section for Kyrkoväktare and Kyrkokovärdanas. I am not sure what these terms mean either. Does "Kyrkoväktare" refer to church custodians or watchmen (guards)? Perhaps the second term is church wardens.

A book about the Sideby Church today might be helpful. I will ask one of my cousins who lives there if there is such a resource.

Thank you, Hasse, for the attachment.


Kaj Granlund
11-01-05, 08:42
This is more like a caretaker of the practical things, like heathing, cleaning, doing the snow.
Nowadays the wardens are not employed. And they are different from sunday to sunday. The kyrkväktare is employed, if he also takes care of the graveyard he can be called "församlingsmästare" refering to trädgårdmästare (gardner). I cannot find a good translation of that word. So caretaker will do for them all.

And assistant pastor sounds like it is what is meant.

Sandy Witt
11-01-05, 15:49
Thank you again, Kaj,

I had read the term "församlingsmästare" last night - and now I know what it means.


June Pelo
11-01-05, 19:03
Both my maternal and paternal great grandfathers were described as "sexman". I've read many definitions of the term, and have also been told that it is no longer used. They had various duties such as keeping an eye on the congregation to make sure they didn't fall asleep, and kept the children quiet, etc. I remember my father said that his grandfather Erik, who was a sexman, was in charge of the communion wine, among other duties. The wine kept disappearing after it was put away in the cabinet, so Erik kept his eyes open and discovered that the pastor was taking a nip now and then. Erik didn't say anything, but he put a lock on the cabinet and that solved the problem.


Sandy Witt
11-01-05, 21:09
Thanks, June,

What a wonderful story. I found a site - http://www.rootsweb.com/~swewgw/Fact/facdic02.htm - that listed some information about the meaning of "sexman" and when this position was eliminated:

Sexman: [-nen, sexmän) a member of the parish selected as a supervisor for the maintenance of the church and parsonage as well as of discipline and good habits of the parishioners. This was a commission of trust. It was abandoned by a change in the church law in 1862. cf tolvman


Karen Norwillo
12-01-05, 03:24
I believe some churches here in the states still have an employee called a sexton with much of the same duties, except of course the discipline task.

Sandy Witt
18-01-05, 05:09
I am not sure about the meaning of "väktar" - used in the same article about the early Sideby church.

BTW: Do any of you know about references for the early history of Sideby or Southern Osthrobothnia?


June Pelo
18-01-05, 23:56
It means custodian, watchman, or guardian (such as guardian of law and order.


Sandy Witt
19-01-05, 01:03

Thank you so much. Now I see that Kaj had already addressed this position when I asked about the duties of the Kyrkoväktare.

I am not certain about the equivalent position to Klockare in English - or if there is even such a position in the U.S. church hierarchy. In the Finnish churches, this position seems to perform a variety of somewhat different tasks.


Sandy Witt
19-01-05, 03:23
I am continuing to research documents about the old Sideby church.

I have found part of a sentence that I don't quite understand. While I understand most of the words, I am not sure what part of it means.

The phrase (following a list of the names of the founders of the church) is: "jämte barn, torpare, lotsmän, smeder, gärningsmän m. fl. tillsammans 204 personer."

My initial translation would be "in addition to children, tenant farmers, boat pilots, smiths (possibly blacksmiths), gärningsmän m. fl. totaling about 204 persons."

I do not know what "gärningsmän m. fl." means. The online dictionary that I usually use - http://lexikon.nada.kth.se/cgi-bin/swe-eng - defines gärningsmän as "perpetrator, culprit" - is this accurate?

Any assistance is appreciated.


19-01-05, 13:23
Gärningsman, gerningsman is an old but earlier not very uncommon word for "hantverkare" appr. craftsman, artisan and in this context usually carpenter (sw. timmerman). "m.fl." = med flera = and others.

Sandy Witt
19-01-05, 14:07

Thank you for clarifying the meaning of gärningsman or gerningsman. Craftsmen/carpenters certainly makes more sense than culprits in this context.


19-01-05, 14:48
Originally posted by Sandy Witt
In the Finnish churches, this position seems to perform a variety of somewhat different tasks.

In the text ´Klockarfar skall allting bestyra´ http://sydaby.eget.net/eng/nybond/klockare.htm Gunnar Nybond mentions in addition to the traditional proper tasks of the klockare also later on learning the youth to read and write and extra occupations as " skomakare (http://sydaby.eget.net/eng/nybond/garv.htm) (shoemakers) och skräddare (tailors), andra koppare ("cuppers") och vaccinatörer (vaccinators), byskrivare (http://sydaby.eget.net/eng/nybond/skrivare.htm) (village scribes) och auktionsförrättare (auctioneers) mm. "

Sandy Witt
19-01-05, 17:19
Tack igen, Staffan,

What an interesting website with even MORE klockare duties.

I always learn so much from articles written by Gunnar Nybond.

I will probably have more questions as I read through this.